Interview Series Showcases DC's Legendary Musicians Scene for Go-Go Preservation Week
As part of Go-Go Preservation Week, the DC Public Library is launching "The Drummer's Circle," an interview series that honors DC's legendary drummers who've parlayed their mastery of Go-Go music into international success. Each recounts their evolution from local gigs to global tours on the DC Public Library’s YouTube channel.
Paul "Buggy" Edwards, the seasoned drummer for Backyard Band, hosts the series, bringing a wealth of experience to "The Drummer's Circle." With a history of more than 250 shows a year for the last 31 years, Edwards’ expertise is unmatched. Beyond Go-Go, Edwards has performed with artists across genres, including Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Raheem DeVaughn, Emily King, Citizen Cope, and notable gospel figures like Richard Smallwood, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Dorinda Clark, Paul Morton, Dave Hollister and Donnie McClurkin. This eclectic mix of collaborations underscores the reach of Go-Go music, setting the stage for a rich and diverse series.
Episode 1: Tim Steele
Tim Steele, renowned for his performances with Prince, Stevie Wonder and 8x Grammy-nominated artist Ledisi, shares his family's musical legacy and the intricacies of Go-Go music. Steele discusses the ebb and flow of his relationship with drumming and how his grounding in the Go-Go scene set the stage for his national and international acclaim.
Episode 2: Aaron Spears
This episode features Aaron Spears, celebrated for his work with Usher, Chaka Khan, Adam Lambert and Ariana Grande, and his memorable encounter with James Brown before the 2005 Grammys. Spears reflects on the standard he sets in the DC area and beyond, his influence on aspiring drummers, and the delicate balance between his musical career and his family.
Episode 3: Jay Williams
Jay Williams, known for his collaborations with Sting, Gerald Albright and Phil Collins, recounts his early days of drumming, initiated at age three by his family. Williams's episode focuses on his evolution as a drummer and how the Go-Go music scene's unique "Shed" environment fostered his development into an acclaimed musician.
The Library's Go-Go activities support the Go-Go People's Plan, a comprehensive community-driven approach to preserving D.C.’s Go-Go music through archiving, promotion, education and other efforts.